Death of the Department Store is a series documenting the economic climate and the end of retail within working class, blue collar communities in the Pennsylvania rustbelt.

Death of the Department Store - KMart

Bend, Oregon - October 2018

Kodak Vision3 5219 + ECN2 Self Development 

I haven’t done a Death of the Department store in a few months. Sears and by proxy Kmart have been in the news recently in regards to bankruptcy proceedings. In fact the last KMart I tried to visit was closed for good. This one was one of three that remained open in all of Oregon. All of them in blue collar towns.

I’ve always been oddly fascinated by corporations that have a heavy presence in blue collar America. Even more so ones that are past their prime and never saw it coming. Companies that failed to pivot or remain relevant.

It surreal to take these photos sometimes.
As someone who works in film, you want your work to be relevant. With this it’s the long game. In this case I think it’s important to look 30 or 40 years ahead.

Maybe even after you die someone will find your photos and be able to see what shopping was like before everything was delivered right to your door.

Death of the Department Store - Boscovs

Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania - August 2018

Kodak Vision3 5219 + ECN2 Self Development 

I’ve always had an odd fascination with regional stores within areas like Northeastern Pennsylvania. Stores that have remained untouched to time since I was a child. 

I can still hear my grandmother saying “Jer, go to Boscovs and get yourself a pair of new sneakers” as I’m walking around in Chuck Taylors that I like to say “have character”. I never actually went mostly because they haven’t changed the style of shoes they carry since 1994. 

Boscovs is almost more than a store. It became part of the local vocabulary. Going back today is an odd experience. Except for sale signs with deep discounts everywhere, literally nothing has changed. The smell, the registers from the early 90’s, a travel center that people apparently still go to. If anything I’m impressed that they can still keep the lights on. 

Death of the Department Store - Bon Ton

Wyoming, Pennsylvania - August 2018

Kodak Vision3 5219 + ECN2 Self Development 

Death of the Department Store - K-Mart

Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania - July 2018

Kodak Vision3 5219 + ECN2 Self Development 

Death of the Department Store - Bon Ton

Doylestown Pennsylvania - July 2018

Kodak Vision3 5219 + ECN2 Self Development 

Death of the Department Store - Boscovs

Scranton, Pennsylvania - July 2018

Kodak Vision3 5219 + ECN2 Self Development